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The Happiness of Heaven.

The Happiness of Heaven.

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Published by glennpease
REV. JOHN VENN, M.A


REV. xxi. 3 — 5.
REV. JOHN VENN, M.A


REV. xxi. 3 — 5.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 23, 2013
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THE HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN.REV. JOHN VENN, M.AREV. xxi. 3 — 5.I heard a great voice out of heaven, sayingsBehold the tabernacle of God is with men,and he will dwell zvith them, and they shallbe his peoples and God himself shall be withthem, and be their God. And God shall wipeaway all tears from their eyes ; and thereshall be no more death, neither sorrow norcrying, neither shall there be any more pain,for the former thi?igs are passed away. AndHe that sat upon the th'one said, Behold,I make all thifiss new.'&"The mind of man ought to be impressed withan anxious desire of knowing what will be hisstate, when he is removed out of this transitorylife. AVe see our friends taken away from us ;and we know that, in a short time, we ourselves48 THE HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN.shall be summoned to depart hence, and to enterthe region of spirits ; and no one has yet been per-mitted to return from that unknown country, toanswer the numerous inquiries which we shouldbe eager to make concerning its nature and enjoy-ments. The Book of God indeed, which informsus of every thing necessary for man to know, haspartly removed the veil ; and although it has nottold us enough to satisfy curiosity, it has done whatis far more important : it has given us such arepresentation of the glory of the world to comeas, without explaining its precise nature, mayserve to elevate our expectations to the highestpitch, to kindle our warmest desire, to inspireus with fortitude under the evils of this transitory
 
life, to dispose us to consider the attainment of heaven as the only object which deserves oursolicitude and exertions.In the description given, in my text, of heaven,three particulars are contained : —I. The peculiar residence of God amongst men," Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, andHe will dwell with them."II. The special relation in which its inhabi-tants stand to God, and God to them. *' Theyshall be his people; and God himself shall bewith them, and be their God."III. The new circumstances in which theytvillTHE HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN. 49be placed. " And God shall wipe away all tearsfrom their eyes ; and there shall be no moredeath, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shallthere be any more pain, for the former things arepassed away ; and He that sat upon the throne said,Behold, I make all things new."I. The first particular of the heavenly statedescribed in my text is, the immediate presenceand residence of God. — Now God, being everywhere present, cannot, strictly speaking, be saidto dwell more in one place than in another.And as God is equally present in every place,so he pays an equal attention to every part of the universe. He as perfectly observes all thatis transacted, either in the remotest recess of hell or the most obscure place on earth, as thatwhich is done in heaven. Whenever, therefore,God is said in the Scripture specially to dwellin any place, we are to understand that hethere peculiarly manifests his presence ; hethere, in a particular manner, exerts his power,displays his agency, reveals his glory, or poursforth the stores of his bounty. Hence, of oldhe was said to dwell in ttie tabernacle ; forthere he revealed his will ; there the childrenof Israel applied for help, and obtained deliver-
 
ance from their oppressors : thence the pestilenceVOL. II. E50 THE HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN.was dispatched, as it were, to punish the dis-obedient ; and there the pardon of transgressorswas announced. — In a still more appropriatesense, God was said to dwell in the temple,A visible brightness indicated somewhat of theglory of God : wonderful and miraculous dis-plays of power, mercy, and love, denoted hispeculiar presence. — In like manner, the Spirit of God is said to dzvell in the hearts of realChristians ; that is, he manifests his presencein them by the exertions of Divine power andniercy, by enlightening the soul vvith knowledge,by sanctifying it with grace, by supporting andcheering it with Divine consolations. — Thesescriptural ideas will serve to explain to us moreclearly the meaning of God's *' dwelling inheaven." In heaven, the Divine glory, wisdom,holiness, power, and love, will be exhibited inthe strongest colours. As a glory formerly filledthe holy of holies ; not that the glory was God,but only a sensible indication of his presence ;so may the brightest glory be supposed perpe-tually to illuminate every part of those blessedregions : '' for they shall have no need of thesun, neither of the moon, to shine therein; forthe glory of God does enlighten them, andthere shall be no night there." There will themind be continually astouished, delighted, andTHE HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN". 51elevated by proofs of wisdom, not obscure, orsparing, or finite, but clear, and manifest, andboundless. There, too, the holiness aiid purityof the Divine Nature will beam forth in ravsof lustre: not such, indeed, as will dazzle thebeholder, but rather such as will illuminate himwith their splendour, and transform him intothe same celestial " image, from glory to glory."

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